Gardner's Status Still Uncertain

By Nunyo Demasio
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Coach Joe Gibbs held a meeting with Rod Gardner's agent, Joel Segal, yesterday morning at Redskins Park about the wide receiver's status. Although both sides described the meeting as positive, Gardner remains in limbo.

"We're trying to craft what we think, going forward, is best for the team and for Rod," Gibbs said.

In early January, Gardner and the Redskins decided to part ways via a trade. Washington gave Segal permission to seek a deal -- to be approved by the Redskins.

Said Segal yesterday: "The lack of a trade right now is a combination of three things: Number one, compensation, differences of opinion. Number two, the player has a one-year contract left. That's tantamount to renting Rod. Some clubs don't want to pay a large sum to rent a player for one year. And third, value is always more to the club you're with than another club."

Gibbs indicated that Washington wouldn't release Gardner, and Gibbs expects him to attend minicamp in June.

"He has a contract," Gibbs said.

Segal said that Gardner would have no choice but to return.

"It's the team he's on right now," said Segal, who also represents rookie quarterback Jason Campbell, chosen No. 25 overall by Washington. "We're going to take it a day at a time."

Several teams bid for Gardner, particularly the Cleveland Browns, Minnesota Vikings and Seattle Seahawks. However, sources said that proposals fell through because the Redskins declined to accept less than a third-round pick; and clubs didn't want to relinquish any higher than a fourth-round pick after Gardner hedged on an extension agreement.

Procedures Are Set

Gibbs said that Pro Bowl linebacker Marcus Washington will have a cyst removed from his tailbone today. The procedure, which usually brings six weeks of rehabilitation, likely will force Washington to miss minicamp. . . . Defensive tackle Brandon Noble will undergo arthroscopic knee surgery today, but is expected to be ready for minicamp. The operation is not to the knee that he severely injured in 2003. . . .

Gibbs said that there are no developments regarding wideout Santana Moss and safety Sean Taylor, who have missed voluntary workouts because of contractual reasons. Last week, tailback Clinton Portis defended Taylor's absence, "As long as he's not getting in trouble, let him go out and have fun."

© 2005 The Washington Post Company